THE life of an artist from East Lancashire has been retold in a biographical tale.

Parallel Universe Publications, based in Oswaldwistle, has published a book about the life of fantasy artist Jim Pitt, 67, who lives on Kinross Close, Blackburn.

The Fantastical Art of Jim Pitts, which was launched at Peterborough’s Fantasy Con in September, is a large-size 212-page hardcover book containing hundreds of black and white and colour illustrations created by Jim over the past 40 years.

Included in the book articles by people who have worked with and known Jim for many years, including his publisher David Riley.

The fantasy artist said it was the publisher suggested it would be a good idea to ‘roll back the years’ and reflect on his life’s work.

Mr Pitt, who studied at Blackburn’s Shadsworth secondary school, describes his work as a ‘mix of fantasy and horror’ comparable to visuals seen in Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones.

The author said he was influenced by American pulp artists from the 1930s and 40s, such as Virgil Finlay, and American fantasy authors such as Robert Howard, Frank Frazetta and HP Lovecraft.

The former brewery worker said: “When I first started out it was tough.

“I was invited to an interview at The Radio Times in London and they were happy with the idea of me working for them but were unprepared to offer it to me because I lived too far away in Lancashire.

“Back in those days drawing could take nearly week to get to London from Lancashire. It was like a snail trail.”

Despite the setbacks, Jim was first given an opportunity to work in the art industry with an art editor from Accrington, David Riley, in 1970 and went on to become an award winning artist.

He won the Ken Mcintyre award for best artist in 1972 but the artist says the ‘high point’ of his career was when he won best artist for the British Fantasy Society between 1992 and 1993.

Mr Pitt, who has lived in Blackburn his whole life, was named after his great uncle, James Pitts, from Blackburn, who was awarded a Victoria Cross for his services in the Boer War.

Mr Pitts, who worked for Thwaites Brewery in Blackburn for 12 years, said: “If you said to me I’d still be doing it 50 years on I’d think you were having me on.”

The book, priced at £35, is a limited edition of 250 copies, each of which is signed by the artist.

It can be bought at Bat Cave comic shop, on Lower Cockcroft, Blackburn or directly from the publisher at